7 things you should never tell a grieving person

By Susan Kogi On Wed, 7 Aug, 2019 12:44 | 3 mins read
Death remains one of the most painful experiences in life. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
Death remains one of the most painful experiences in life. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
Editor's Review

    Death is a phenomenon that the human mind can never fully comprehend, and it remains one of the most painful experiences in life.

    And when death strikes, we all need a shoulder to lean on; someone to help us get through the darkest of days. 

    But, sometimes it can be really hard to comfort a grieving person because we are at a loss for words or we simply do not know what to say exactly.

Death is a phenomenon that the human mind can never fully comprehend, and it remains one of the most painful experiences in life.

And when death strikes, we all need a shoulder to lean on; someone to help us get through the darkest of days. 

But, sometimes it can be really hard to comfort a grieving person because we are at a loss for words or we simply do not know what to say exactly.

The moment can be extremely uncomfortable, and this is when we end up rubbing in the loss while at it; all in the name of making the bereaved feel better.

Although some of the things we say come from a place of love, they act as a sword, making the pain unbearable; Anyone who has been bereaved can attest to this, and here are some of the inappropriate statements you can say to a grieving person.

-I know how you feel-

At one point or the other, some of us have lost loved one. During our moments of grief, the degree of pain varies from a person to another. You can never truly understand what someone is going through no matter how many times you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. You can only imagine how they are feeling.

-This happens to all of us-

Don’t we all know that? The fact that we will not come out of Planet Earth alive does not make the pain any endurable. Instead, share the heart-warming memories you hold of their loved ones.

-Aren’t you over them yet? Move on- 

Putting your life together and marching on after a tragic loss is easier said than done. Some people recover sooner than others, and it’s okay. There is no timeline set for people to stop grieving their loved ones but all the same, time is a healer depending on how one handles their respective situations.

-God wanted to be with them-

‘God loved them more.’ ‘They are in a better place.’ ‘It is well’.

To any grieving person, their loved one is supposed to be with them; not with anyone or anywhere else. And who is this selfish God that gives and takes whenever he feels like it? It’s like gifting a child and then taking the gift back; Cruel, right? In their state, it is NOT well and that’s how things seem to be in the eyes of a bereaved person.

-You can still have other one- 

A life is never replaceable. As much as you can still have another baby, another spouse or another friend, a life lost can never be brought back to life.

-It gets easier with time-

The bereaved is living in a deep dark hole; tomorrow is just a promise of another dark day, and they seem not to see brighter days ahead. Help them get through the situation as of now because all they see is eternal pain. The statement also makes them feel like they will eventually forget their loved ones, something they definitely want not. 

-Do not cry, be strong-

This is a common phrase often told to parents; to hide their tears away from the children. Older siblings in such cases are also not spared. But why can’t we just allow them to be human and feel the pain without shame?

If you have been saying some of the above statements, chances are that the bereaved may not remember all the things said to them by their comforters but most importantly, you now know exactly what to never say during the dark times. 

While offering consolation, sometimes you need not to say anything at all.  It’s not that you are ignoring their pain, but just being there to offer warm hugs and a listening ear can do a solid. Help with the chores, watch their kids, help raise funds for burial if need be. Remember actions always speak louder and they will bet forever grateful to you.